Woman, 80, lands plane on low fuel; husband dies

  • Tue Apr 3rd, 2012 1:56pm
  • News

Associated Press

STURGEON BAY, Wis. — The son of an 80-year-old woman says she knew her husband had died after he fell unconscious at the controls of a small plane, yet she remained calm as she landed the aircraft at a northeastern Wisconsin airport.

Talking to the Associated Press exclusively in a telephone interview Tuesday, James Collins said he’s also a pilot and that he helped his mother Helen Collins via radio as the plane ran out of gas Monday evening. Another pilot took to the skies to guide her to the ground.

Collins says his mother learned to take off and land about 30 years ago at her husband’s urging, in case something happened to him. She has flown hundreds of hours by his side.

Collins’ 81-year-old husband, John, was pronounced dead at a hospital.